Distinct populations of neurons in the ventromedial periaqueductal gray project to the rostral ventral medulla and abducens nucleus

Elisabeth J. Van Bockstaele, Gary Aston-Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Following microinjections of a colloidal gold complex into the nucleus paragigantocellularis (PGi) of the ventral medulla, and of latex microspheres into the nucleus abducens (Abd) of the same animal, retrogradely labeled neurons were identified in the region of the contralateral supraoculomotor nucleus (SOM) in the ventromedial periaqueductal gray (PAG). Neurons labeled from the Abd were found in the SOM in the ventromedial PAG throughout the midbrain, as well as scattered ventrally in the oculomotor nucleus. Neurons in the SOM area retrogradely labeled from the PGi were most numerous rostral to the dorsal raphe nucleus and extended throughout the level of the oculomotor nucleus. Direct comparison of the two labels revealed that the neurons that project to the Abd were located slightly more ventrally than PGi-projecting neurons. Almost no doubly labeled neurons were identified, although singly labeled neurons formed adjacent but separate populations. These results indicate that neurons in the SOM area projecting to the PGi are distinct from those projecting to the Abd, and that the PGi-projecting neurons are probably not pre-oculomotor neurons. Given their more dorsal location and the nature of their target neurons in the rostral ventrolateral medulla, PGi-projecting neurons may be related to visceromotor, as opposed to oculomotor functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-67
Number of pages9
JournalBrain research
Volume576
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 27 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology

Keywords

  • Anterograde transport
  • Brainstem
  • Cardiovascular regulation
  • Medulla oblongata
  • Oculomotor nucleus
  • Paragigantocellularis
  • Retrograde transport
  • Supraoculomotor nucleus of the central gray

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